Bluegrass to Green: Rick Pitino
In 1997, the Celtics tapped University of Kentucky Coach Rick Pitino to run the team. He already had some experience coaching in New England with former stints at Boston University and Providence College. Pitino took on the twin titles of team president and head coach of the Celtics and a 10-year contract. He vowed to “work harder than Red Auerbach has ever seen any individual work to bring the Celtics back to the championship level.” The early returns were promising as the 1997-98 squad improved their win total by 21, while former Kentucky stars Antoine Walker made the All-Star team and Ron Mercer the All-Rookie team.
( C ) NBA/Celtics